Coveting Couture

This gallery contains 14 photos.

There is nothing like the Paris Couture shows to remind a girl that in the course of our lives, fashion moments like wearing one of those outlandish yet equally beautiful creations is going to be a rare, if not completely … Continue reading

American Prep

There is something to be said for a classic American button down, pinstriped and crisp, paired with a simple sweater. The combination has unwavering style. Wearing it makes me feel like my life is being directed by Ralph Lauren or J Crew. However, the problem with rocking this classic style is it’s often expensive. I recently went thrifting and found a men’s button down for a quarter and an oversized woman’s sweater for $2.50–score! The tops are so oversized that cinching at the waist with a belt is a must. Pair with leggings and flats for a casual look or dress it up with skinny jeans and heels.



Sweater and button down: thrifted!
Belt: H&M
Leggings: Target
Flats: Steve Madden



These splurge worthy flats add shine and spunk to any outfit

My roommate Taylor, and my token thrifting buddy, also found some great finds that adhere to this American Prep style. She found a couple of “grandpa-esque” sweaters to layer over plaid and chambray button-downs. Pair with oxfords and a great bag–like her green Kate Spade tote. Thrifting for classic tops is a great way to save money for the splurge worthy bags and shoes that we convince ourselves we all need. You never know what you may find. Don’t be afraid of men’s clothing–it could end up being your favorite closet staples.

I might steal her bag...

I might steal her bag…

Happy thrifting!

Thank you Athens thrift stores

Happy thrifting, everyone!



Holiday Gift Guide

The Christmas season is upon us once again and so ensues the hectic shopping experience and the dash to find the perfect presents for friends and family. I will admit that I am not the best at coming up with gift ideas so I sometimes shamelessly ask my friends and family what they want; but not this year! I tried to brainstorm early and compiled a list of inexpensive gift ideas for your friends, family and any white elephant gift exchange you find yourself in.

For gift inspiration for friends I thought of things I would like to have for myself then got on Pinterest and clicked on the ‘Gifts’ drop down menu at the top of the page and searched for gifts in my price range. A mere 3 hours later and I had this holiday gift guide:

  1. Envelope clutch–The perfect holiday bag that will transition into New Years. Plus, the clutch can often double as an iPad or e-reader case. Trendy yet practical. This one from H&M is only $12.95.
  2. Monogrammed bangle–What is more personal than monogrammed jewelry? This bangle bracelet from Etsy is simple and classic and will be a sure hit with friends. Etsy has a ton of other great personalized jewelry items too. This bracelet is $32.
  3. Instagram magnets–Now your favorite photos can be displayed outside of your Instagram account. Sticky gram will print and send you the photos of your choosing, but hurry! The last day for Christmas shipping is December 9th. These magnets are $14.99 for 9.
  4. Style coffee table books–It is never too early to start an impressive collection of coffee table books. So if you have stylish friends with a penchant for high fashion then maybe a memoir like Grace Coddington’s is the perfect gift. It’s $20 at Barnes & Noble. Other honorable mentions are: Gospel According to Coco Chanel and The Little Black Book of Style. 
  5. Unique iPhone case–Society 6 is a website that offers a huge variety of unique cases and skins not found in stores. You can also pick out stationary, canvases and throw pillows to match the case you choose. This case would make a great gift for a girlfriend and its $35.

Holiday gifts for friends

Now for white elephant gift ideas. Since there is typically a strict budget in place for these exchanges I suggest finding inexpensive and humorous stocking stuffers or making your own gift for people to fight over in the exchange. Here are some ideas:

  1. Holiday sock-covered wine–Buy a cheap pair of socks, preferably holiday themed, and use them to cover a bottle of wine. Wrap one around the bottle and use the other to tie around the bottle neck.
  2. Manicure set–Fill a mason jar with nail polish, cotton balls, a small bottle of nail polish remover and a nail file. Let’s hope a woman gets this in the exchange.
  3. Hot chocolate kit–Fill a mason jar with hot chocolate mix, marshmallows and peppermint sticks for one lucky person to enjoy. Garnish the jar with a ribbon and you have a nice, inexpensive treat.
  4. Chalkboard paint coffee mug–Buy a small bottle of chalkboard paint and a plain white coffee mug and paint the bottom portion of the mug so whoever gets it can personalize it with their own designs. Fill the mug with candy and watch people fight over this unique creation.
  5. Gloves filled with winter essentials–Buy a pair of gloves or mittens from the dollar store and fill with various items to get someone through the winter season like, lip balm, lotion, hand sanitizer and tissues. Practical yet creative!

For the above Christmas gift ideas and more DIY projects visit my “Holi-daze” Pinterest board to get your creative juices flowing. Do you have an inexpensive holiday gift guide of your own? What DIY projects are you planning to tackle this season? Share in the comments.

Happy Holidays!


5 Stranded Braid

Hey Bloggers!

I recently started the painful process of studying for finals, but to keep my brain form having an utter meltdown I’m trying a new system. One hour hardcore hitting the books, then a 15 minute break. During my last break I was mindlessly looking at Pinterest when I came across a link for some hair tutorials. The 1st one was for a 5 stranded braid. I have hair down to the middle of my back so I’m always looking for new ways to wear it that isn’t a top knot. For some people braiding with 3 strands is daunting…let alone 5?! I gave it a try anyway and in practice its really not too hard at all! In the video she does a goofy little chant saying “over, under, over, under…” You may feel goofy doing it but it really did help! Here’s the finished product:


I just curled the pesky layers around my face that wouldn’t go into the braid. And there you have it! Looks fancy but totally manageable. Check out this tutorial to give it a go for yourself.

Happy Friday! Off to class…

❤ Ash

DIY Washer Necklace

Statement necklaces have been a rising trend for a couple of years now but they can be expensive so with some Pinterest inspiration I found a creation that is not only inexpensive, but also original. This washer necklace is easy to construct and can be varied if you plan on making them for friends or family. The majority of the items needed to create this necklace I found in my Dad’s toolbox but to purchase them would still be inexpensive.

You will need the following materials:

  • Metal washers in a variety of sizes
  • Flexible steel wire (24 gauge preferred)
  • Embroidery thread in colors of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Hot glue gun
  • Ribbon

Firstly, start to heat up your hot glue gun and lay out the washers into the formation of your choosing. To make a real statement, use large washers (approximately 2” in diameter) surrounded by smaller ones. Once you have an idea of how you want the final product to look, you can start to wrap each washer in embroidery thread. Secure the end of the thread on the back of the washer with a dab of hot glue then start to wrap the thread around the washer continuously until it is completely covered. Make sure the thread is tight and there are no gaps.

The thread colors you choose are where you can get real creative. You could choose to go for a monochromatic look or create an ombre piece with different shades of the same color. I chose a palette of teals and corals for my necklace. Once you have covered all of the washers it is time to connect them into the formation you planned with the steel wire. The 24 gauge wire is easily flexible so you can use your hands to wrap the wire from one washer to the next by looping it through the holes in the washer. Encircle with wire around the connection you made between each washer to make it tighter then secure with pliers so the end doesn’t poke out. Repeat the process until the formation is complete. You can either leave the wires exposed for a more industrial look or choose to wrap more embroidery thread around the exposed wires and secure with hot glue. I chose the latter so to create more contrast with my color palette.

The final step is to loop ribbon through the washers on the end of the necklace to create the straps. Cut the ribbon to the desired length and voila! This necklace cost roughly $5. You can find entire packets of embroidery thread for only a couple of dollars and it always helps to raid your Dad’s toolbox. Found items are ideal for creating a necklace like this. If you are looking for more DIY necklace ideas check out my previous creation here.

The final product!

This washer necklace can be found on my “I Spy a DIY” Pinterest board among other great craft ideas. Is there a great DIY statement necklace you have created lately that was inexpensive? Share in the comments or post a link to your own Pinterest board.

Happy crafting!


College Fashionista Feature

I had one of those days a couple of weeks ago where I actually allotted myself more than 15 minutes to get ready. Shocking, I know! Especially for someone who spent her high school years shamelessly laying out her clothes the night before so I could sleep in as much as possible. This particular day a couple of weeks ago was the perfect day to play dress up. The sun was shining, the air was crisp and I was feeling classy, like I could give Kate Middleton a run for her money, so I slipped into a trusty pair of heels (on the brink of destruction but I don’t dare part with them) and went for a casual, business-chic look. I wasn’t heading to an interview. I had only one class that day. I had absolutely no reason for dressing up but it gave me a confidence boost, as most great outfits do, and it ended up paying off because a friend of mine and College Fashionista contributor flagged me down to photograph my outfit of choice for a weekly feature article. It was instant justification for such an ambitious outfit on such an insignificant day.

Black pants, knit sweater and heels: All from H&M
White t-shirt: Old Navy
Bag: Francesca’s Collections
Necklace: Handmade! An original by yours truly. See this DIY post
Photo source: College Fashionista via Nicole Ranieri

I won’t lie, I was pretty proud of this outfit. I had nothing going on that day; no commitments, no meetings, but the outfit fooled people into thinking that I had a busy, important day in front of me. A number of friends asked me what interview I had. It’s fun to mess with people isn’t it? We all know the old adage, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” Well I’m putting this into effect early in light of my current ascent into the workforce and true adulthood.

To achieve this look shop for the basics. The tailored black pants are not only slimming, but can be business-y or dressed down for a funkier, casual look. The white v-neck is a staple item. You can never have too many white t-shirts in my opinion. Crew necks, v-necks, slouchy, fitted…buy them all and buy them cheap. Do the “half-tuck” into your trousers or jeans to add a bit of character to the outfit. Finally, a basic black satchel is a must. I like to see mine as pretty versatile. It has the long strap so you can sling it over your shoulder to look bookish and important and it also has the hand strap so you can place the bag on your forearm and carry it like a Kardashian sister (you know what I’m talking about).

Do you have those days when you dress up just because? What items in your closet give you a confidence boost?


Happy Thanksgiving! Whatcha Wearing…err Thursday?

Happy Thanksgiving, Bloggers! I was in charge of Whatcha Wearing Wednesday, but after pre-Michigan festivities Tuesday night I was a little under the weather yesterday. I hope everyone is enjoying their day off; spending time with friends and family. My … Continue reading

Columbus a Fashion Capital?

I used to question the merits of living in Columbus after graduation. After all, what does it have to offer? I mean, it’s no New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. Sure, we love our Buckeyes, have an up-and-coming downtown and some sweet shopping centers but it’s not a city that pops into your mind when you think about living the typical metropolitan lifestyle. So when my mom showed me this Columbus Dispatch article  about Columbus having the third-highest concentration of fashion designers in the country, I was like, “Say what?!” Now this piques my interest.

New York City still dominates the fashion stratosphere, with Los Angeles in a close second. After visiting New York City for a short weekend, I have been limiting my job search to only that city. Three days was all it took for me to be completely smitten with the Big Apple. My head was in the clouds and sometimes still is, admittedly. I think, oh I can live there! (Even though it’s ridiculously expensive.) I can ride public transportation and learn the subway system! (Even though I hate crowds and am terrible with directions.) It will be just like Sex and the City! Ha, a girl can dream, right? But I digress.

Looking over Central Park

The more I think of Columbus’ impressive ranking, the more it brings to light all of the creative aspects of my city. From the Short North–the pseudo-hipster, art gallery district with local boutiques–to Columbus College Art & Design (CCAD) that cranks out all these talented local designers, to Columbus Fashion Week, a novice in the fashion week tradition but attendance continues to grow in its three-year reign, there are more fashion opportunities than I had originally thought.

Fashion meets Columbus. Ash and I in our Miles of Style post.

So maybe Columbus isn’t so bad after all. It’s style merits are climbing and who’s to say it won’t become the next New York City? As it turns out, I could have been living in a fashion capital all along.

Is your city an up-and-coming fashion capital? We want to hear what your city’s style is like in the comments below.